Known for her innovative, appealing programming and informative, witty, and entertaining audience rapport, Robyn Bell has taken the pops orchestra music scene by storm. Having worked with dozens of tribute and guest artists to marry the popular music genre with symphonic orchestrations, Robyn fills concert halls with patrons and the soundtracks of their lives. Her dynamic personality, musical presence, and precise baton technique keep enthusiastic audience and orchestra members engaged, enthralled, and entertained from the first rehearsal to the final performance.
Known for her innovative, appealing programming and informative, witty, and entertaining audience rapport, Robyn Bell has taken the pops orchestra music scene by storm. Having worked with dozens of tribute artists to marry the popular music genre with symphonic orchestrations, Robyn fills concert halls with patrons and the soundtracks of their lives. Her dynamic personality, musical presence, and precise baton technique keep enthusiastic audience and orchestra members engaged, enthralled, and entertained from the first rehearsal to the final performance.
Specializing at the intersection of popular music and symphonic orchestrations, Robyn has developed, produced, and conducted scores of pops orchestra shows highlighting the music of Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, George Harrison, John Denver, the Four Seasons, Barry Manilow, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, the Beach Boys, Michael Bublé, and more.
Additionally, she has conducted concerts with performers such as Audrey Landers (actress and singer), Joan Ellison (Judy Garland restorationist), Rich Ridenour (pianist), the Stiletto Brass (all-women brass quintet), Ring Sarasota (handbell choir), Alex Zickafoose and AJ Cali (Jersey Boys), Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (Porgy and Bess, Spirit of America), the Jacobites (pipe and drum group), Dick Hyman (jazz piano icon), and William Johnson (Bob Hope tribute artist).
Some of her most popular and exciting productions include a Broadway-style collaboration with orchestra and musical theatre by Robert Christenson called A Christmas Carol, the Concert, a musical and narration presentation of the history of the American flag by Vane Scott called The Many Faces of Old Glory, a wedding give-a-way fundraising challenge culminating in the orchestra performing for a live wedding on stage called Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and an insanely thrilling interactive concert using the app Poll-Everywhere called The Choice is Yours, engaging audience members to vote, in real-time, to choose the next selection the orchestra will perform.
The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota
Since its founding in 1975, The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota has produced critically acclaimed musical attractions for enthusiastic audiences of all ages. As one of the top performing arts groups in a unique culturally rich community, the Pops Orchestra attracts full-time residents, Suncoast “Snowbirds,” and vacationers to its concerts, proving to be a cultural and economic asset to the Greater Sarasota community.
The 65-piece orchestra consists of many of the community’s finest professional musicians, community music makers, music educators, and high school and college music students, reflecting the diversity of its audience and patrons. The annual four-subscription concert season features musical genres such as patriotic, Broadway, Hollywood, jazz, big band, jukebox, Motown, and holiday selections. In addition, the Pops Orchestra performs community concerts to honor veterans, welcome international sporting events, and feature outstanding local young musicians through its annual summer camp. The Pops partners with other area arts organizations, providing concerts for special occasions in the Suncoast region. Local and national guest artists frequently join the Pops, bringing additional energy and excitement to the stage. Each concert season is designed to entertain, invigorate, and project the Pops Orchestra’s passion and enthusiasm for popular style music, featuring something for everyone.
Robyn Bell began her tenure as the Pops’ conductor and artistic director in 2011 and is the orchestra’s fifth conductor. Previous conductors include Arlene Stein, Pat Stenberg, Dale Jensen, and Ken Bowermeister. Visit the Pops Orchestra’s website at ThePopsOrchestra.org.
Robyn launched the Suncoast Culture Club podcast on July 20, 2020 as her “pandemic project.”
Join her each week as she showcases the cultural arts people, organizations, leaders, and events on the Suncoast of Florida.
Listen on the Suncoast Culture Club website or through your favorite podcast player.
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Robyn holds a Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Tennessee and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. Her list of recognition and awards include the Silver Baton from the Women Band Directors International, Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, NISOD Award from the State College of Florida, the SCF Leadership Academy, and the Kelly Wynn Woodland Community Arts Education Award from the Manatee Arts Education Council. She has been the conductor and artistic director of The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota since 2011, founder and conductor of the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra in 2017, conductor of the Sarasota Youth Orchestra, and guest conductor of the Venice Symphony.